I lived in San Francisco from 2016 to mid-2019, but still follow its politics, and wrote a voter guide (with explanations) for this election. Here’s the gist:

Elected offices

State office

  • Scott Wiener for Senate District 11
  • David Chiu for Assembly District 17
  • Phil Ting for Assembly District 19

Board of Supervisors

  • Marjan Philhour #1, Veronica Shinzato #2 for District 1
  • Danny Sauter for District 3
  • Vallie Brown for District 5
  • Myrna Melgar for District 7
  • Blank for District 9
  • Ahsha Safai for District 11

Other races

  • Michelle Parker for Board of Education
  • Victor Olivieri and Jeanette Quick for Community College Board
  • Lateefah Simon for BART Board of Directors District…

Below is how I’m voting (plus how I recommend voting in other local races I’ve researched) in Ventura County. See my full voter guide for explanations of each race.


  • Julia Brownley for CA-26
  • Jacqui Irwin for AD-44
  • Monique Limón for SD-19
  • Carmen Ramirez for County Supervisor, District 5
  • Joe Ramirez for Community College Trustee
  • Yes on Measure O


  • Heather Schmidt for City Council, District 4


  • Jeri Becker for City Council, District 4
  • Yes on Ojai USD Measure N


  • John Zaragoza for Mayor
  • Oscar Madrigal for City Council, District 3
  • Steve Hall and Gary Davis for Oxnard Union High School District School…

Check out the full 4,500+ words, including original research and 80+ sources, at vote.maxghenis.com/nov2020/california.

14: YES
15: YES
16: NO
17: YES
18: YES
19: YES
20: NO
21: NO
22: YES
23: NO
24: NO
25: YES

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Broihier and Patel are running in Democratic primaries today

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Mike Broihier (left) and Suraj Patel (right)

Of the Democrats in six states voting in primaries or primary run-offs today, some will see basic-income-friendly candidates on their ballot. Mike Broihier is one of ten candidates running for the chance to battle Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, while Suraj Patel is one of three challengers to incumbent Carolyn Maloney in New York’s 12th congressional district (a blue district in New York City).

Broihier is a farmer and former Marine who’s earned the endorsement of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang by making UBI the centerpiece of his economic plan. Patel is an attorney and business ethics lecturer who has called for a child allowance and emergency UBI throughout the Covid-19 economic crisis. …

Today, one in five black Americans lives in poverty, nearly double the rate of white Americans. Meanwhile, the average net worth of white families is more than five times that of black families, and the median is more than seven times higher.

These gaps are the product of slavery, Jim Crow laws, housing laws denying black Americans federal mortgage subsidies, and many more injustices. Like whites-only covenants in housing deeds across America, we have yet to erase the economic legacies of our racist history.

A number of economic policies have been proposed to reduce these gaps, from “baby bonds” to expansions of refundable tax credits to reparations. …

Written for TomorrowAnew.com

I’ve written this for TomorrowAnew.com, a website I helped create that asks, “What will be different tomorrow?” and raises funds for charities including GiveDirectly, which provides unconditional cash transfers to poor families in Africa and the US. You can add your own thoughts with the “Join us!” link at the website.

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Tomorrow will be a heartache.

We’ll grieve for the millions who draw their final breaths separated from their loved ones. We’ll long for the embrace of a relative, the sight of a friend up close, the contact that makes us human. …

Watch it here

Last week, I joined Tom from Nerds for Humanity for a live-streamed interview. The Nerds for Humanity channel (formerly Nerds for Yang) runs multiple streams weekly on topics surrounding Andrew Yang, universal basic income, and global affairs more broadly. As you might guess from the name, Tom emphasizes data in his videos, frequently incorporating charts and graphs, so our research-oriented conversation was thought-provoking and wide-ranging.

After starting with my background and path to the UBI Center, we went through a slide deck with research from myself and others on UBI. This covered four sections:

  1. Poverty, inequality, and progressivity. Despite strong economic growth from 2009–2018, the US poverty rate fell less than 15 percent. And despite having the most progressive tax code of OECD countries, US redistribution doesn’t reduce inequality as much as our peers. Low overall tax levels and resulting meager, means-tested benefits could explain both of these shortcomings. …

Ventura County YIMBY has delivered the following letter to Senator Scott Wiener.

The Honorable Scott Wiener
California State Senate
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Support SB 902 Planning and zoning: neighborhood multifamily project.

Senator Wiener,

We write on behalf of Ventura County YIMBY to support Senate Bill 902, which allows duplexes and other modest, affordable “Missing Middle” housing types in places that currently exclude them and the residents who can only afford these more affordable homes. …

The right tax filing schedule could get you thousands in (poorly designed) Recovery Rebates. And Congress: Let’s just do UBI next time.

Late Wednesday night, the Senate unanimously passed the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion relief package to address the Covid-19 pandemic. The House is expected to pass it on Friday.

Of all the components of the nearly-900-page bill, the Recovery Rebates will have the broadest and most tangible reach. Over 93 percent of tax filers will receive these one-time checks of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.

There’s a catch, though. The amounts start phasing out for tax filers with income over $75,000 (single) or $150,000 (married), and that income comes from your latest tax filing: 2019 if you’ve filed, otherwise 2018. …

See the tracker here and ubicenter.org/covid19 for more research

The Covid-19 outbreak is preventing workers from collecting a paycheck, blowing up unemployment rolls, sending capital income into the red, and devastating job-seekers. To ensure families can keep paying their bills, United States policymakers are increasingly considering emergency cash transfers and universal basic income.

The first proposals arrived on March 12, when Democratic Representatives Ro Khanna, Tim Ryan, and Tulsi Gabbard proposed different forms of monthly payments of $1,000 per adult. The most recent is the House Democrats’ HEROES Act, which gives one-time payments of $1,200 per person, phasing out for incomes above $75,000 ($150,000 for married filers). …


Max Ghenis

Economist. Founder and president of the UBI Center. Studied at MIT and UC Berkeley. YIMBY. Former Google data scientist.

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